Our October newsletter featuring the following articles: The other Bentley boys, Garden route visit, Racing exercise, Collection in action – J, Exhaust blips.
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THE OTHER OTHER BENTLEY BOYS

Bentley Boys
Bentley Boys

Late in October FMM was graced with a visit from a mouth-watering gathering of one-make British automobile aristocracy as the 8th International Vintage Bentley Tour of South Africa stopped by for a picnic lunch and tour of the museum. The tour attracted 16 vintage and one ‘Derby’ Bentley, all but four of which came from overseas from as far away as Great Britain and Ireland, Australia and the USA. Examples of practically all of the various models produced during the 1920s/early-’30s  took part – 3,0, 3,0/4,5, 4,5, 6,5, Speed 6 and 6,5/8,0 – plus the rare and glamorous 1929 ‘Blower’ Bentley of Shane and Zuzana Houlihan, which was  acknowledged as being the pick of this mind-boggling group of iconic automobiles.
 
Organised by local enthusiasts Dave Alexander, Di Dugmore, Tony and Linda McEwan and Karl Reitz, the tour began on 3 October when all the cars gathered at Umhlanga Rocks in Durban. The road trip then took in Mkuze, Manzini, Drakensburg Champagne Castle Clarens, Kimberley, Graaff Reinet, Shamwari Game Reserve, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Hermanus and Stellenbosch before finishing at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on 24 October, a journey just short of 3 800 kilometres – a grand tour by any standard.
 
A blisteringly hot and gusty spring day precluded the tour’s planned picnic lunch on the lawn overlooking the museum’s quadrant, the Bentley boys and girls opting for the more shady areas of the FMMs grounds to relax, enjoy their meal and reflect on a wonderful tour that was drawing to a close. Dave Alexander stated in his guide notes, “South Africa is a fantastic place to tour”, and I am sure this year’s international participants will agree. MM

GARDEN ROUTE VISIT

Garden Route
Prior to the Bentley visit, the Garden Route Motor Club recently visited FMM as part of a week-long tour of the Western Cape. An eclectic mix of 19 cars carrying 37 people set off from Knysna and called in at Montagu en route to a three-night stay in Stellenbosch from where the group branched out to take in a number of the area’s attractions before moving on to a day in Franschhoek.
 
“The visit to the FMM certainly was a great highlight and thoroughly enjoyed by the group, including the visit to Anthonij Rupert Wines for the ladies,” said club chairman and tour organiser Peter Pretorius. “It was particularly nice that we could split the group for a tour of the display halls and also visit the immaculate workshop.” Although the visit was brief, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to view the latest displays and see at first hand some of the maintenance and restoration work being carried out on FMM’s classics.
 
The group then headed back towards the Garden Route along the coast roads from Gordon’s Bay to Gansbaai, where they stayed over for some whale watching. The club donated R1 100 towards a new penguin sanctuary in the area. MM

RACING EXERCISE

Racing Exercise
Racing Exercise

Amongst the varied collection of vehicles that form the FMM collection are a number of historic racing cars that, along with all the others, are systematically given a run to blow away any cobwebs. By their very nature, it is not simply a case of switch on, press the button and away you go... Race cars need a degree of fettling before they spring into action but in late October it was a turn for a ‘high five’ of the collection to be given a workout by museum curator Wayne Harley and senior workshop crew members Lorenzo Farella and Deon de Waal. Single-seaters were the ex-Jody Scheckter F1 Tyrrell 007, the ex-John Love Formula 2 Team Gunston Chevron, the ex-Ian Scheckter Formula Atlantic Lexington March and the ex-Sam Tingle LDS, which were joined by the ex-Scuderia Brescia Corse Le Mans Ford GT40.
 
From different generations, the contrasting sounds of the cars was quite something to savour, and together with the smell of hot engines and lubricant made for a sensory overload. It is a privilege to see and hear these valuable and significant race cars being given regular outings – during the year they are demonstrated at numerous motor sport events throughout the country – rather than simply being mothballed. Just ask Wayne, Lorenzo and Deon about it... MM   

COLLECTION IN ACTION – J

Collection In Action – J
An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we go off the beaten track in a classic Jeep CJ.
 
Although America joined WWII late on in the proceedings, one of its most telling contributions to the war effort was the concept, development, introduction and use of the General Purpose vehicle – or as it was commonly believed to have been phonetically pronounced, the Jeep. Created in 1940 in answer to an American Defence Department call for a military workhorse, the Jeep was effectively an amalgam of ideas from three manufacturers, namely Bantam (general design of the vehicle), Ford (front-end layout) and Willys-Overland (powertrain). The use and success of the Jeep MB in military operations around the world is the stuff of legends, and it was perhaps inevitable that once hostilities ceased, its application into other fields – literally and figuratively – would follow. And so, after a short re-engineering programme that saw the introduction of a tailgate, drawbar and canvas hood, Willys-Overland introduced the CJ-1 – Civilian Jeep-1 – to the peacetime world.  
 
It is reported that none of the CJ-1s built have survived, and it is not known how many were built, but its production life was less than a year before the CJ-2 appeared, although this was not really available at retail. Fitted with PTOs (Power Take-Off), the CJ-2s were also known as the AgriJeep and were essentially test units distributed to ‘agricultural stations’ for evaluation purposes, and just 45 were built.
 
The lessons learned with this exercise led to the development of the first full-production CJ, the CJ-2A, introduced in 1945, which was basically a civilianized MB with a tailgate, a side-mounted spare tyre and the fuel filler relocated to the outside of the body. Oh, and a seven-slat grille incorporating flush-mounted headlamps (nowadays a trademark design of the Jeep brand) in place of the MB’s nine-slat grille with smaller, recessed headlamps. The engine continued to be the Willys L-134 2,2-litre Go-Devil L-head in-line four that developed 45 kW at 4 000 r/min and 142 N.m of torque at 2 000, but it was mated with a beefier Borg-Warner three-speed gearbox. A single carburettor was used and the compression ratio was a mere 6,48:1.
Since the CJ-2A was primarily intended for farming, ranching and industrial applications, its basic configuration was just that – basic. A wide variety of extras was available including a passenger seat, (tiny) rear seat, front and rear PTOs, centre rear-view mirror, canvas top, capstan winch, heavy-duty springs, dual vacuum windshield wipers, dual tail-lamps and a hot-climate radiator. A bright range of body colour/road wheel combinations was also available.
 
Frequent post-war strikes hampered the early production of CJ-2As but a total of 214 760 were produced up to 1949 when it was replaced by the CJ-3A. FMM’s CJ-2A has body number 16995, which suggests it was made in 1946 and was acquired complete with spade, axe and most of the ‘extras’ mentioned above and it appears as though it was one of a number of CJs imported to SA aimed at the agricultural sector. As for the colour scheme, Pasture Green is the likely hue but without the ex-factory Autumn Yellow wheels.
 
The starter is a button high up on the floorboard (not to be confused with the headlamp dip switch, and once the ignition is switched on it is possible to ‘heel and toe’ the starter and accelerator to bring the heavy, all-iron motor into life. The driving position is non-negotiable: the green vinyl-covered seat cushions are uncompromisingly thin (a numb posterior is inevitable) and the thin-rimmed steering wheel offers about as much directional control as rudderless dingy in a storm. With a short, 80-inch wheelbase (2 032 mm), the ride puts a new meaning on the description ‘communicative’ – every nuance of the ground beneath is felt. But get off the beaten track and this CJ takes on a ‘to infinity and beyond’ persona that, ahem, gives you a real buzz...
 
With the option of locked differentials and a high/low range transfer case, the Willys will go up, around or over practically anything in its path from a slow walking pace upwards. Rugged and virtually indestructible, ‘The Sun Never Sets on the Mighty Jeep’ was one of Willys’ marketing slogans. Variations on the CJ theme lasted until 1986, a remarkable legacy of a pioneering off-roader. MM

EXHAUST BLIPS

In the upcoming October/November issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa there is a feature on FMM’s Hudson Commodores, the 1949 sedan and the 1948 Club Coupé.

DATES TO DIARISE:

October 30: Lowveld Classic Ford Day, I’Langa Mall, Nelspruit
November 1: Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile meet, Stellenbosch Flying Club
November 7: Power Series Round 9, Killarney
November 7: Extreme Festival final round, Zwartkops
November 8-10: VMC Fairest Cape Motorcycle Tour
November 14: LUK 3-Hour and PE 200, Scribante Raceway, PLZ
November 14: Circuit racing, Delmas, Mpumalanga
November 15: TSCC Century Classic Car Run, Century City, Cape Town
November 21: Inland Championship Round 7, Midvaal

(Clubs and organisations are invited to send details of upcoming events to mike4m@telkomsa.net for inclusion in Exhaust Blips.)

WHERE, WHAT TIMES
AND HOW MUCH


The Franschhoek Motor Museum is situated on the L’Ormarins Estate along the R45 in the Franschhoek Valley in the Western Cape, which is approximately a one hour/75 km drive from central Cape Town.

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10h00 to 17h00 (last admittance 16h00), Saturday and Sunday 10h00 to 16h00 (last admittance 15h00) – the museum is open on most public holidays.

Admission prices are R60 adults, R50 pensioners and motor club members (with membership ID), R30 children (ages 3-12).

Guided tours are available upon request. An on-site delicatessen serves food and refreshments, while tasting and purchasing of the estate’s wines is also offered. Modern ‘charabanc’ rides through L’Ormarins to adjoining wine farms are also available.

Tel: 021 874 9000 Fax: 021 874 9100 E-mail: fmm.co.za Web: www.fmm.co.za
 
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Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

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